5 Steps to Creating a Homework Routine
homework routine made easy
Every year the same frustration creeps in. Every year you try to deny it’s going to happen. Every year it returns. Homework time frustration.
In the past, I naively thought that I could tell my child what to do, and they would do it! Oh, the headaches that brought! I then struggled to fit it into my routine, and that failed too!
Many parents don’t enjoy doing homework with their kids because they have to fit it into their own busy schedules. Why can’t our kiddos just do what we ask?!
I had to take several steps backwards and realize that if I was going to make homework time enjoyable (and I say that in the vaguest form possible) I needed to dissect EVERYTHING I was doing.
The place everyone starts at is routine. It’s like a cozy security blanket. No one says “Gee it feels terrible to return to my routine.” Unless, your routine was dictated by someone else.
Let’s chat about routine! What are the benefits of maintaining a homework schedule?
What are the Benefits of Routine?
A designated time for homework helps your child develop organizational skills
Routines provide children with security and stability
A homework schedule prepares them to be independent.
When your child knows the importance of their homework vs. play, they become intentional about their choices.
Time management is crucial to healthy child development. Children, like adults, need to learn to manage time effectively and be in control of their daily activities.
The benefits are clear, but how can we establish a homework routine that works for you and your child? More importantly, how can we create a routine without ripping our hair out?
5 Steps to Setting a Homework Routine
1. Decide on the Best Time & Create a To-Do List
Since the homework routine is about your child and their homework, you should consider their opinion. Children spend up to 8 hours a day at school and THEN come home to do more work. Please, please, please ask for their thoughts on how to spend their time at home.
While some kids prefer some downtime when they return home, others like to get work done immediately. The bottom line: speak with your child and understand the time that works perfectly for them.
Choose the best time and write down a to-do list indicating everything that they need to achieve, including breaks.
However, try not to have homework time run so late that it cuts into sleep or feels rushed. Remember we want to cut down the stress NOT increase it!
2. Design a Homework/Study Area
When your child has a specified study space in your home, it increases the reminders that work needs to be completed.
Provide a comfy chair, standing desk, bright light, and no distractions.
3. Keep their School Supplies Within Reach
Items such as pencils, markers, and dictionaries should be on hand so your child does not waste time searching for items.
There is no such thing as too many pencils!
4. Put Technology Out of Sight
Distractions from the TV, computer, and phone should be checked. You don’t want your child struggling with that math while trying to follow the next TV show.*
For older adults, it’s often difficult to create a tech-free homework routine. Irrespective, encourage them to stay clear of gadgets while working.
*Some kiddos work well with noise from a radio or TV. I constantly have scary movies playing in the background while I work. You know your child best. Make sure the noise is mind numbing not mind intriguing!
5. Appreciate Your Child’s Study Efforts
Now, some people may argue that we shouldn’t reward our kids when they successfully do their homework.
But that’s like saying adults shouldn’t get promotions or incentives at work.
Of course, it’s human nature to want appreciation. And when you reward your child with a small gift or applaud, hug or kiss them, you boost their confidence.
These are few tips to help your child establish their homework routine. As an academic coach, I have helped students create their own routines and monitor their success. HOWEVER, helping the child is only a piece of a having a stress free homework routine. Remember at the beginning of the article I said that I needed to rethink MY routines, habits and thoughts?
Tips and tricks are great, but it’s only a piece of it. The Homework Playbook workshop for parents helps YOU create a plan that brings the best version of yourself to homework. Get on the list today! The workshop starts in October!
Marni Pasch | Team Pasch Academic Coaching
I work with students in grades 6th and higher, who struggle with academic confidence and motivation. I help them survive school with less stress by helping them create concrete goals, tackle procrastination and learn creative study techniques. I empower students to take charge of their education and reach their goals. I do this through individual or group coaching so students achieve success in life, school, career readiness and their social endeavors.